From staff reports

sports@joplinglobe.com

TOPEKA, Kan. — Janice Bright poured in a career-high 29 points, and No. 7 Washburn pulled away in the final eight minutes for a 74-55 victory over Pittsburg State on Wednesday night at Lee Arena.

Bright, 5-foot-9 senior guard, tallied 20 points to lead the Lady Blues (14-2, 7-2 MIAA) to a 39-20 halftime lead.

But the Gorillas (10-5, 5-3) stormed back to grab a 52-50 lead on Nicole McCombs’ jumper in the lane with 8:44 remaining. McCombs scored three buckets and two free throws during PSU’s 18-5 spurt.

Bright, however, hit two baskets and a 3-pointer as the Lady Blues outscored PSU 12-2 over the next four minutes for a 64-54 lead. Two free throws by McCombs (at 5:40) and one by Caitlin Demarest (1:07) were PSU’s only points in the last eight minutes.

Bright popped in 12-of-17 shots from the floor, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, while scoring at least 20 points for the fifth straight game.

Center Dayna Rodriguez and guard Jessica Mainz added 15 and 13 points, respectively, for Washburn.

McCombs netted 19 points and Brianna Buchanan 14 for the Gorillas.

Washburn men 85, PSU 73

Guard James Williams, averaging 5.6 points for the season, tallied 20 points to lead four players in double figures for the Ichabods (10-6, 6-3 MIAA), who moved into third place in the conference standings.

DeAndre Eggins added 18 points for Washburn, and Lekheythan Malone and Darnell Kimble had 13 and 10, respectively, before both fouled out.

Carlos Taylor scored 14 points to pace Pittsburg State (7-8, 2-6), followed by Spencer Magana with 12 and Chris Wilson with 10.

After two early ties and lead changes, Washburn opened a 10-point lead midway through the first half and led 43-30 at the intermission. The Ichabods went on a 9-0 run early in the second half to build a 61-40 lead with 14:39 left.

Washburn shot 48 percent from the floor and hit a season-high 52 percent (11-of-21) from 3-point range. The Gorillas, who scored the game’s final nine points hit 43 percent.

The Gorillas have another road game Saturday afternoon against Fort Hays State, starting with the women’s game at 2.

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